Grading the peace march

Grading the peace march

Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has taken a convoy of over 1,000 people, including PTI activists, leaders and local and foreign journalists on a two-day march towards South Waziristan to register his party’s protest against drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal region.

While the march has been at the receiving end of criticism from government officials as well as other political parties, some arguments have also been made in its favour.

Anti-drone activists from the West have also joined Khan and prior to leaving for the tribal regions, they met with people affected by the drone strikes and mingled with crowds in the capital to create awareness about their anti-drone stance.

Drone strikes remain a crucial point of discussion whenever Pakistani and US officials meet and while it has been reported that Pakistani officials approve of the strikes, the government continues to reiterate its anti-drone stance in official statements.

Khan, who has been vocal against the unmanned-plane missile attacks from the onset of his recent political activities, has claimed that the march and the eventual address in the South Waziristan tribal region will help bring international attention to the issue and show that the people of tribal regions are supportive of his stance.

It has been said that Khan’s destination for the march is not so much closer to the issue of drone attacks as it is to militancy training, as opposed to North Waziristan, which has borne the brunt of majority of drone attacks in the last few years. However, Khan’s step to go ahead with the march, despite security threats from the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and the government’s statement that it will not provide security beyond Tank, has been hailed as a brave move.

It remains to be seen whether the march and the address in Waziristan will only result in political point-scoring for Khan and his party or will it actually force a rethink on the drone war.

Will the presence of international media and anti-war activists bring international attention to drone strikes in Pakistan?

Will Imran Khan be able to gain support of tribal locals?

How will the government respond to the “peace march” once it concludes?

Will the march help bring about a change in drone policies? invites its readers to share their views and voice their opinions…


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36 Responses to “Grading the peace march”

  1. NASAH (USA) says:

    I will give Imran Khan an F for his Fata frolicking — if after that trip for the Treasonous TTP — the TTP puts a bullet in the head of a 14 years old school-loving peace making internationally praised girl — and claims it as a triumph.

  2. Abdullah Hussain says:

    Imran Khan has done what it requires to win hearts. He has proved that field politics is better than drawing room politics. The nation has rightly pinned hope on Imran Khan’s PTI to bring change without which Pakistan cannot progress. New ideas are needed to navigate Pakistan to peaceful & progressive existence in the future. We have seen the rest so why not test Imran Khan this time. At least we will see evaporation of corrupt culture that has shook every corner of our country.

  3. Qadir Shah says:

    Thanks to Imran and PTI for taking daring step and show humility to brothers and sisters in Waziristan. It is beyond words to praise. It was great service of foreign delegate who came to Pakistan to raise this important issue at the international level and show solidarity.

    • vijay, chennai, India says:

      Pakistan will flourish only if the army is sent to the barracks.All the parties even if they have a huge majority
      have to toe the army line. So if IK comes to power, I will not be surprised if he starts dancing to the army tune.

  4. Leaving every thing aside politics or personal interest, any march that will somehow help for the cause of commen man I will appreciate that who so ever leads the march.

  5. Nasir says:

    The Peace march that was schedule to be for Waziristan Agency concluded in District Tank of KPK, so we cannot say that this was a peace march for Waziristan and for the people of FATA. The other demerit of this so called peace march was that it has highlighted some grey areas of administration of the state of Pakistan i.e. FATA being considered a no go area, no writ of the government, no basic facilities for locals and no basic fundamental rights of the citizens of FATA.
    In short it was an unsuccessful attempt of political point scoring. It was unsuccessful due to the reasons that on ground PTI has no workforce [gras root workers] to facilitate arrangments for the peace March. there were some limited and unexperienced youth but there was no one to guide them.

    • KAREEM TAJIK says:

      i am not a typical fan of IK but we should appreciate the efforts of IK, at least he showed solidarity with the people of waziristan, who knows the suffering of those people whose families become the victims of this brutality. they are also human beings living there in Waziristan. uneducated, poverty hitted, frustrated…… isnt it better to raise voice for them rather to let them abolished. i thnk IK is on the right track,

  6. Every effort put in by Imran Khan is commendable!!!! Why hasnt any other party leader thought of going this far? Criticism is the easiest thing that ius what our nation is doing and our nation is good at it.

  7. All efforts by Imran Khan are commendable!!!!Criticism is the what our nation is good at. Why didnt any other party leader think of going this far before?

  8. Omar says:

    He is doing what u and i do not do. Shame on us for doubting and always second guessing his comments and moves. The sickening part of the deal is that the very people who always accuse him of one thing or another don’t see how the country has been dragged down the sewer by PPP and its ALLIES.

  9. Tahira, USA says:

    I was hoping Maulana FazlurRehman will join him but no, this Maulana is too self centered to look beyond his physical boundary.

    If Imran Khan has taken a bold step, it is clear that the cowards will make statements against him. No surprise here. May Allah protect Imran Khan from all these losers.

    • Zafar says:

      He is too unfit to March, he could have a heart attack marching this long, then who will be fed from us and who will pray for us. No place in politics for religion,

  10. mohsin meghani says:

    I think Imran Khan should have taken out rally against the terrorists who are taking shelter in Pakistan and killing the innocent people of the country.This is just a cheap way of gaining popularity which I think the Pakistanis are quite mature to understand now.There is really no hope for a change in Pakistan.

    • khalid says:

      I dout your thinking Mr. Mohsin if pakistani people are mature then Zardari and company would not rule you. If you are mature enough you will not give such comments. I hope you understand what I mean?

  11. Pakistan Crying says:

    If the people of Pakistan do not bring change this time by supporting Imran and keep voting for corrupt people of PPP, MQM, ANP, PML-N, ect. Who have been tried and tested and failed, then I am sorry to say nothing can be done about Pakistan. If the People of our country want be treated as slaves at the hands of these corrupt Zardries and Nawas and Fazals by voting for them, then it is the faith they them selves will write for their future and not God.

    • Zafar says:

      Educated would kicks the established parties out, but majority of people are illeterate who are ruled by waderas and chaudrys. They dare not vote against them. Till the education, and I mean real education where once understand what is being said and the consequences of all action are understood, is become part of every paksitani, nothing is going to change. Little hope for IK in parlimetary system as in Paksitan, though his actions are comendable.

  12. A.J.Siddiqui says:

    In responce to the questionnaire, here are my considerations in the same order.

    1. Regarding the presence of international media: Yes ! indeed it will help to cause a positive impact on the mind of generally indifferent and callous international audience. However, I’m uncomfortable with the remarkable presence of international ‘anti-war activists’. Their presence will only over-burden the tasks of our intelligance bureau and it should.

    2. I think Imran Khan has already favoured with the support of tribal areas.

    3. The PPP govt. has no recourse other than to water down the PTI’s popularity.

    4. First and foremost, we should not forget the loss of innocent lives in Somalia and Yemen, who were also the victims of same US drone attacks.

    Moreover, any change in drone attacks either in Somalia, Yemen, or Pakistan depends upon the outcome of US Presidential elections in November this year. Since the United States of America is out of the jurisdiction of the Internatioanal Crimnal Court of Justice. Pakistan, unfortunately has no political clout over this illegal and cruel American drone attacks on her soil.

  13. i would like to admire imran khan for his heroitic move, although i dont agree with all of his my opinion its our deplomatic failure ,having lost 35000 lives in so called war against terrorism, we could not convince the world regarding our sacrifices and efforts in paving way towards peace. Enigma of drones is playing havoc for our society , undoubtly it can be said that it has brought more bitterness and rage amongst masses ,created numerous sui side bombers ,again advocating that its our diplomatic failure that americans attack innocent people and in turn they attack in public places,because of silly moves of our government traitors have found their way in them, resulting in total destruction.
    if imran khan wants to play political cards and if it is like this, then why other parties are not putting their lives in trouble as doctrine of getting seats in government seems to be above life for them.
    i would advice all stake holders to come forward for sake of pakistan ,as true patriots, as true nationalists , as true muslims, to get together under one flag , as it is last and only time to revive our true national spirits,if we dont think so we are living in fools paradise.

  14. Ahsan Khan says:

    All know! what the game is being played in north waziristan for achieving the target to which America intervene in Afghanistan and their main target is to finish the strength of Taliban (in which most belongs to Al Qaida) which had fled from Afghanistan and got the shelter in Waziristan. As far as we are talking about the international and anti-terrorist agencies they all are well aware regarding the situation and the game is being played as what they desire to which direction it should be played. They have completely failed to get their target in waziristan and now most of the residential and inhabitant are becoming the targets of Drone strike and what they communicate through media that they killed so many terrorist.

    Tribal is the nation includes on innocence people and they follow what they are taught from their local Molvees. They have been inculcated that democracy is anti-islam and Imran Khan will be ruling them by following such process which completely unlike and unproved near to islam, so may be tribal like the protest of Imran Khan against Drone Strike but as far as their support on election point of view is concern they will surely be against him.

    Nothing will be changed as Drone Strikes was not initiated by mutual approval of pakistan. it was started by one sided desire of America and it will continue till they achieve their target which seems to be unachievable so far.

  15. observer says:

    I have tried to grasp what Imran Khan wants to achieve by this peace march? Cheap political points by fanning hatred against USA and government of the day?

    • observed says:

      He is doing what our prominent political leaders should have been doing since the war on terror began. This place has been abandoned for a long time. BTW, Imran doesn’t HATE USA.

      • Rashid says:

        We all know from our heart that the whole purpose of this march is to gain some political mileage. It is so ironic; doesn’t matter how hard some one tries to justify IK, he became one of those politicians who he criticize every day.

  16. Saeed says:

    American policies are not dictated by marches or protests. Even if Imran is doing this for political purposes, it is more than acceptable, for it will achieve some intangible results. Besides he has shown more courage than all the other politicians put together. The government is complicite in this infringement of our sovereignty hence neither the elected government nor the establishment nor the outside powers will change an iota of its policies. The tribal Malik’s great supporters of Pakistan and its establishment will probably in their own interest support Khan’s initiative. Nobody likes anarchy specially if it infringes on their power and authority. The Taliban have eroded the tribals hold, not without tacit support of the confused and dazed establishment.

    • patriot says:

      Nothing courageous. Pure hypocricy to gain cheap popularity from a nation which worships heroes.

      As someone most aptly put it:

      “It was bound to happen, anybody with a litlle common sense was sure that this Rally would never reach its final destination. This is why I say that it was a CHEAP POLITICAL STUNT performed by one of the POLITICAL JOKERS of Pakistan . I don’t know when we the people of Pakistan are going to learn , because we are making the same mistake that we have been making since the birth of country.”

      • Abid says:

        Mr/Ms/Mrs. scared, atlease muster some courage to write your name before criticizing anybody’s intentions and take responsiblity of what you r saying.

        If it was a political stunt how many of our leader have the ability to show it. We dont know what was in his heart but atleaset IK and his all senior leadership alongwith women and children showed the courage to take risk for a cause (I hope u r not against the cause). Regarding reaching its destination, you think i would have made any difference, if it reached further 20 km ahead. Its destination was raising the issue at national and international level, which i guess it did quite effectively.

        While i agree that we r a hero worshiping nation, but dont you think one needs to have some quilities to be a hero. He is not what a perfect leader can be but i guess he is the best among the current lot. Be optimistic, give him a chance, atleast you will be making a new mistake.

  17. Jahangir Mohmand says:

    This is playing games with Pushtoon blood. As a resident of tribal belt our life has been made hell by Taliban terrorists. Drones are the only relief we get. Imran is making mockery of Pushtoons by siding with these blood thirsty foreign agents who are out there to destroy us

  18. bilal hashmi says:

    We have made so many no go areas in this country, which are closed to international reporting as well as political activities, and then due to this regime of arrangements these areas have become safe heavens for anti state forces. This blockiage together with low literacy rates in these areas causes locals to be easily fooled by these forces. Moreover it has also become a taboo that these areas are closed because it is impossible to enter them peacefully. IMRAN KHAN walk will help alot, even if it is politically motivated it will have its impact in positive direction for waziristan

  19. Agha Ata says:

    It is only a matter of hours. Let’s be pateint and see which way ALL the camles sit. :)

  20. Mohammad Syed Husain says:

    Will the presence of international media and anti-war activists bring international attention to drone strikes in Pakistan?
    Yes. With the American election heating up, this may be the right time to bring it in sharper focus to the public in North America.

    Will Imran Khan be able to gain support of tribal locals?
    There is a difference in the Tribal Maliks, people and the Taliban. Imran has the support of the Tribal people but the of the Taliban, I am not sure.

    How will the government respond to the “peace march” once it concludes?
    The Government is apologetic about bringing it up before the Americans lest it spoil their mood and hence the funds.

    Will the march help bring about a change in drone policies?
    Yes. The Vietnam war was brought home to American TV by the correspondents reporting from front line about the atrocities.

  21. Khan Afridi says:

    sad to see imran khan also doing politics on pashtoons blood like jamate islami and other religious parties. this was the biggest drama i have ever seen on pashtoons blood. there r 7 tribal agencies and 6 FR and imran khan is just only worried about waziristan drones vitims. how about other tribal regions where not a single drone strike took place but these terrorists exists which have hostage the local pashtoons since 12 yeaea why is he just deceiving the world that drone is the only reason for it. i ws supporter of imran khan but he is just doing politics on pashtoons blood. shame on imran khan, PTI and those pashtoons who support him. if imran khan is serious so he should also take a protest to another agencies to show his support to other 30000 victims of terrorism

    • Nasim Zaidi says:

      For god sake you guys wake up ,Belive in Imran Khan he is true PAKISTANI ,Try to educate yourself
      dont be narrow minded,IMRAN KHAN is the most educated political figure he dosent have to prove
      his honesty, he is the only hope for pakistan ,Ihope he will be elected then you see how pakistan
      florish,may god bless him ,I live in california for last 35 years I feel the pain of my country.LONG LIVE PAKISTAN , PAKISTAN ZINDABAD AND GEEVAY PAKISTAN

    • Saeed says:

      Unfortunately myopic people only see Pashtun blood. Blood of Pashtuns and punjabis and others is the same red color Afidi Sahib. One has to look at the cause and address it in a sane and rational manner. Unfortunately politics plays a part in it whether we like it or not. Khan has raised awareness of the problem in the very least, and that is more than anyone else has done o far. Irrespective of what the information or interior minister pontificate, this government is complicite in the shedding of Pashtun blood, indeed Pakistani blood, for they are us (please note Mr. Afridi) and we are them. It hurts us just as much if a child dies due to foreign aggression in Waziristan, north, south , east or west is irrelevant. Try not to make distinctions, maybe your comprehension of the problem is not quite complete. As for the gentleman so prefers drones as protection, I will only say ask those who live constantly under the buzzing sound of imminent death.

    • Karachi Wala says:

      Khan Afridi I totally agree with you!!! If Imran is serious he should march all over KP and protest the 30,000 victims of terrorism at the hands of Taliban and Al-Qaida. He is playing the games of JI, JUI and other Mullahs who never speak about crimes committed by Taliban and Al-Quida.

    • Khan says:

      Brother Afridi, I think Imran Khan is strting something that no other leader or person has done. After the Waziristan, he will certainly pick up other serious matters as well. The drama that you are talking about, started long time ago. Imran Khan is trying to put an end to it. Tell me which other party/leader has ever tried to at least talk about any public issues. Imran Khan has at least taken the initiative. Please let him do wahtever he is doing. What others are trying to do is a bigger dram. The others are part of the real drama that they are playing with our innocent people. End to corruption in our land will bring a lot of new apportunities soon. Please march with him and not against him as he is the only hope left.

    • TKhan says:

      Mr. Afridi, join hands with him; he alone cannot do it, you have to help. One life even it is in Waziristan saved from the inhumane drones, then it is a life saved. You too save yourself by joining an honest man.

      • ozair says:

        Can you be Khan and Afridi at the same time? and “Karachi wala” thats an unusual alliance and a nod to an incoherent and a dim witted comment by “Khan Afridi”. Just join in with Imran, it will definitely do some good then not, not to mention “Patriotic” regardless of how much this Idea might sound foreign to some. on Facebook on Facebook